Signs and Symptoms

Most people infected by the Japanese encephalitis virus have either no symptoms, or mild symptoms that are short-lived and flu-like (e.g fever and headache). Hence, people often underestimate these symptoms.

In less than 1 in every 250 cases, the infection may spread to the brain and cause more serious symptoms, such as:

  • High fever
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Confusion
  • Paralysis (inability to move certain body parts)
  • Neck stiffness
  • Coma
  • Death

The case-fatality rate can be as high as 30% among those with disease symptoms.

Of those who survive, 20%–30% suffer permanent intellectual, behavioral or neurological problems such as paralysis, recurrent seizures or the inability to speak.



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